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Friday, February 23, 2024

Reps call for malaria state of emergency, push for drug subsidies

Calls for government intervention to make malaria drugs accessible to all Nigerians

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In a bold move on Thursday, the House of Representatives proposed the declaration of a state of emergency on malaria, addressing the alarming rise of the bacterial disease nationwide. The House urged the Federal Government to consider subsidizing or providing free malaria drugs at all government-owned health centers to ensure widespread accessibility.

At the inaugural meeting of the Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Control, committee chairman Amobi Ogar expressed concerns about the prevalent malaria infections, emphasizing the financial barriers hindering many Nigerians from obtaining necessary drugs.

Ogar pledged the committee’s commitment to eliminating substandard and fake malaria drugs, proposing stringent sanctions for producers involved in such practices. Additionally, the committee aims to scrutinize the operations and processes of the Global Fund concerning its role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Addressing the urgent need for affordable malaria drugs, Ogar stated, “My vision is to see a Nigeria where malaria drugs will be given to our people free of charge or subsidized.” He highlighted the widespread impact of malaria on the population and the challenges faced due to the high cost and limited availability of drugs.

The committee, tasked with formulating legislative measures for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, as well as coordinating government and non-governmental efforts in these areas, is poised to advocate for practical solutions to enhance the accessibility of malaria drugs across the country.

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